Banks set to hand £20bn in emergency cash to small firms crippled by coronavirus
Britain’s biggest banks pledged last night to immediately make available £20billion of emergency cash to small and medium-sized enterprises brought to their knees by coronavirus.
The commitment was made at a high-level meeting called by the Chancellor Rishi Sunak at the Treasury, attended by the governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney, his successor Andrew Bailey and the chief executives of the major banks.
At the follow-up session to his coronavirus budget – at which the Chancellor committed £12billion to combat disruption caused by the virus – Sunak said the Government would do ‘everything it takes to support businesses through this difficult time’.
At a meeting called by the Chancellor Rishi Sunak, banks pledged to make available £20bn of emergency cash to small and medium sized enterprises brought to their knees by coronavirus
His Budget stimulus package includes a ‘Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme’, which provides lenders with a guarantee of 80 per cent on each loan, extending statutory sick pay, business rates relief, and small business grant funding.
The Bank of England also unleashed emergency stimulus on Wednesday worth up to £290billion, designed to boost lending to struggling firms and homes.
Carney declared the Bank would be ‘monitoring closely how the banks use the enormous resources to help keep firms in business.’
Stephen Jones, boss of UK Finance, which represents the banking industry, noted the banks were already responding to the crisis through repayment holidays, invoice-free extensions and fee-free emergency loans.